Mustard is an amazing plant and is one of the easiest to grow. Just broadcast the seeds out in the fall. It likes cold weather and makes a wonderful cover crop or early winter greens in your garden. The plant is beneficial to the soil and in fact can kill various soil diseases and acts as a fungicide. You often see mustard between the rows in vineyards planted as a soil and root defense fall plant.
"Mustard is good for many things but here are 4 quick uses..."
1. Make Mustard This is super easy. Just collect the seed heads when they are ripe. (cut the stalks and drop in a brown bag and the seeds will come free as they dry).
- Soak yellow or white mustard seeds for 24 or 48 hours. If you use only water they will be hotter so many people use a combination of water and vinegar, wine, beer or?
- Crush and strain.
- Add a drop of vinegar and a bit of honey or brown sugar to taste.
- Adding a dash of turmeric gives it the yellow color.
- If you add black mustard seeds it will be hotter. If you leave some of the rough cracked seeds you get more of a German mustard.
2. Eat the Greens
Trim up the young leaves and steam with butter, salt and a drop of vinegar if you like that.
3. Make Dry Mustard
Dried mustard was a staple in most households for centuries both for making quick mustard and for medicinal uses such as a mustard plaster or a mustard steam bath.
Grind up mustard seeds (dry) and sift though a fine mesh. Store. When you add water the chemical reaction makes it hot. Using aluminum or metal will flavor the mustard so always use glass or wood.
4. Make a Mustard plaster
Mix 2 tablespoons of dry mustard with 4 tablespoons of flour. Add water and spread on a flannel sheet. Apply to your chest for 20 min to warm up and reduce congestion. Wash the area completely when you are done. You can also add a small amount of dry mustard to steaming water and breath it. Be away that it will sting your eyes. Adding dry mustard powder to water and then mixing with oil creates a soothing rub for sore joints.
If you let the mustard and water stand for a while it will get cooler. If you leave mustard you have made out for 2 weeks it will get very mild (then refrigerate). Mustard stores well and mustard seeds are a spice that is added to coleslaw, pickles and many dishes.
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Photo Credit. Craig Rippens, Marin Farmers Market